Over the past fortnight Afghan capital Kabul has come under repeated attacks. The latest of these attacks came on Monday as an army post in Kabul was attacked that resulted in the killing of eleven soldiers. The attack near a military academy also inured many soldiers. On Saturday the Afghan capital witnessed one the most brutal attacks in recent times as an ambulance packed with explosives blew up in a crowded area of Kabul, killing at least 95 people. On 20 January, another attack on a Kabul hotel killed 22 people – mostly foreigners. Attacks have also stuck other cities in the war torn country.
The death toll and the apparent ease with which these attackers have targeted the country show that the problems are far from over. The nascent Afghan army looks incapable of protecting even the capital. The Afghan government as well as the international powers with plenty at stake in the country must come together and find an urgent solution to the problem.
There is no justification for the violence being unleashed on innocent Afghan citizens but it is also a reality that the unending political conflict is one of the reasons for the surge in violence. Unless there is a strong government in Afghanistan that has the support of all stakeholders it will be hard to guarantee any form of normalcy in the country.
The wave of attacks has been strongly condemned by Pakistan but certain Afghan officials have already pointed fingers towards Pakistan. Pakistan’s relation with Afghanistan is hardly ideal and the country’s relation with the United States which is a major stakeholder in Afghanistan is also strained. Pakistan has time and again reiterated that it wants peace in Afghanistan as instability in the country directly affects Pakistan itself.
Despite the upsurge in violence there is some hope that a comprehensive peace plan will be finalized during the crucial regional conference scheduled to take place in Kabul next month. The meeting to be attended by Afghanistan’s immediate neighbours, as well as other regional and international players will take place under the banner of ‘Kabul process that the Afghan government initiated last year. Regional and international powers with stake in Afghanistan must also soften their respective stance and shun difference for the sake of peace in Afghanistan.